between the devil and the deep blue sea

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Related to between the devil and the deep blue sea: between a rock and a hard place


1. often Devil In many religions, the major personified spirit of evil, ruler of Hell, and foe of God. Used with the.
2. A subordinate evil spirit; a demon.
3. A wicked or malevolent person.
4. A person: a handsome devil; the poor devil.
5. An energetic, mischievous, daring, or clever person.
6. Printing A printer's devil.
7. A device or machine, especially one having teeth or spikes and used for tearing.
8. An outstanding example, especially of something difficult or bad: has a devil of a temper.
9. A severe reprimand or expression of anger: gave me the devil for cutting class.
10. Informal Used as an intensive: Who the devil do you think you are?
tr.v. dev·iled, dev·il·ing, dev·ils or dev·illed or dev·il·ling
1. To season (food) heavily.
2. To annoy, torment, or harass.
3. To tear up (cloth or rags) in a toothed machine.
between the devil and the deep blue sea
Between two equally unacceptable choices.
full of the devil
Very energetic, mischievous, daring, or clever.
give the devil his due
To give credit to a disagreeable or malevolent person.
go to the devil
1. To be unsuccessful; fail.
2. To become depraved.
3. Used in the imperative to express anger or impatience.
play the devil with
To upset or ruin.
the devil take the hindmost
Let each person follow self-interest, leaving others to fare as they may.
the devil to pay
Trouble to be faced as a result of an action: There'll be the devil to pay if you allow the piglets inside the house.

[Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, from Latin diabolus, from Late Greek diabolos, from Greek, slanderer, from diaballein, to slander : dia-, dia- + ballein, to hurl; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.]

between the devil and the deep blue sea

In a position between two undesirable alternatives; from the old nautical use of the word devil to mean a ship’s gunwale. Someone suspended, eg for painting the ship, over the gunwale would have only the sea below him.
References in periodicals archive ?
The report, titled 'Between the devil and the deep blue sea. Europe fails refugees and migrants in the Central Mediterranean', reveals the devastating impact of policies, which have resulted in more than 721 deaths at sea over June and July 2018 alone.
"BDI is between the devil and the deep blue sea, i.e.
Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Penguin, 2013/ VOYA August 2013), made the selections for this substantial collection of fourteen short stories, and well-known authors such as Maire Lu, Carrie Ryan, and Kendare Blake, contributed.
The nation was faced with a hard choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. It chose the sea in this case because of the uncertainty of the sharks being there as against the certainty of the devil taking control.
But a viewing of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea challenges such discourse.